Workers’ Celebration: Abiodun promises to reach consensus with Labour over new minimum wage

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Workers’ Celebration: Abiodun promises to reach consensus with Labour over new minimum wage

. . . says over ₦128.3bn paid as pensions, gratuities

Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has promised that his administration will do everything possible to reach a beneficial consensus between the government and the workers on the new minimum wage.

Governor Abiodun, who stated this during the 2024 Worker’s Day celebration and rally, themed, ‘People First’, said his administration has paid a total of ₦128.3 billion as pensions and gratuities to both local and state government retirees in the state.

“On minimum wage, your ever responsive administration has done a lot of work, which is aimed at arriving at a position that we can sustain in line with our inclusive style of governance.

“We will soon be calling a meeting with the organized labour leaders to finalize the Ogun State Government Minimum decision,” the Governor said.

The Governor stated further that under his leadership, the  state government has paid ₦2.8 billion as leave bonuses to workers for the year 2023 and January to March 2024, adding that ₦13.4 billion outstanding deductions have been paid to workers, as well as a consistent payment of ₦10,000 transport allowance to all civil servants for the past nine months, totaling N8billion.

Abiodun noted his administration’s 100% increment of the car and motorcycle refurbishing loans from which about 10,982 civil servants have benefitted with about ₦1.3 billion disbursed so far.

“We are diligently remitting the backlog of inherited deductions and have consistently paid the agreed outstanding deductions. These deductions that have been paid up to March 2024 have totaled about ₦13.4billion since I assumed office.

“We continue to pay pension and gratuity to both state and local governments, totaling approximately ₦118.7billion and ₦9.6 billion, respectively, for a total of N128.3billion.

“Payment of leave bonuses for all beneficiaries at the state, local and SUBEB amounting to about ₦2.9 billion.

“It is important to state that bonus entitlement for 2023 and from January to March 2024 have all been paid. Payment on palliatives for state government staff, parastatals, corporations, institutions, and pensioners totalling about N8 billion.

“The car and motorcycle refurbishing loans have been increased by 100 per cent, providing enhanced financial support for all civil servants.

“Up to March 2024, about 10,982 civil servants have benefitted from the loan scheme with about N1 billion disbursed,” he said.

Governor also said that his administration has continued to pay 40% of the basic salary of workers in the state as Peculiar Allowance, adding that Ogun Teach interns will after two years minimum meritorious service get migrated into the mainstream of the civil service.

“I directed last year that TESCOM and SUBEB engage additional 2000 OgunTEACh interns, increasing the total number of interns engaged to 4,000 out of 5000 target …I directed that 1000 of the interns that have served more than two years and have been evaluated and found worthy be absorbed into mainstream civil service

“I have now decided to turn this into a policy going forward, Ogun TeacH interns will now after 2 years minimum meritorious service and passing evaluation will be migrated into mainstream civil service,” he said.

While noting that he has directed the Head of Service to start the process of appointing Principal Generals to fill the vacant offices, Governor Abiodun said that his administration has updated and reviewed the Public Service Rules and Financial Instructions, the first overhaul in over two decades.

Governor Abiodun also said that his administration has expanded its health insurance coverage with the introduction of the ‘Ileradapo’ scheme for the state workforce and the public, noting that over 70,000 people have benefited from the health scheme, with over 1,500 surgeries done so far free of charge.

“We have expanded our health insurance coverage with the “Ileradapo” scheme, benefiting all state workers and the public, and I can proudly say that over 70,000 beneficiaries have participated in the scheme. Furthermore, over 1,500 free surgeries have been performed to date.

“Under the Ibidero Scheme, we offer comprehensive support for pregnant women, including free pre-natal and post-natal care, and an additional ₦5,000 per birth in our state hospitals and primary health care centers,” he added.

In his remarks, the Minister of Labour and Employment Barrister Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, represented by the state controller, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Nnambi Enuah restated the commitment of the present administration to continue to pursue policies and programmes that prioritizes the rights of workers in the country.

She further said that the federal government in order to mitigate the consequences of some of its recent policies have rolled out palliatives like the wage award, Presidential Constitutional Grant Scheme, grant for large manufacturers, loans for small and medium businesses, consumer’s credit scheme, among others, urging workers to continue to renew their strength and renew their commitment and support to government at all levels.

Also, the state chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Akeem Lasisi, called on the government to address unemployment and the high cost of living in the country.

He commended Governor Abiodun for his leadership capability and unmatched response to doing what was necessary in the wake of the removal of fuel subsidy by the federal government.

The labour leader also appreciated the governor for the implementation of the ₦10,000 transport allowance and the 40% increment in workers’ basic salary.

The highlight of the May Day celebration was the presentation of the Best Friendly Governor Award to Governor Dapo Abiodun by the Ogun State Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress and match past by various unions in the state.